Ed Wingenbach


Associate Provost for Academic Affairs 

Professor, Department of Political Science

Administration Building, Third Floor













 Biography    Courses Taught    Publications & Research   Academic Leadership   Helpful Tips for Writing Essays and Taking Exams





 Biography [top]


Ed Wingenbach is the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Professor of Political Science; he has worked at Redlands since 2000. As Associate Provost he leads efforts to internationalize the University, advance sponsored research success, extend community-based learning across the curriculum, and improve the use of data to improve student success. He works closely with faculty and administration to coordinate the assessment of student learning outcomes, manage academic program reviews, and encourage the use of assessment findings. As the Academic Liaison Officer to WASC he leads the University’s ongoing work for reaccreditation. He supports Academic Affairs in the pursuit of strategic priorities and represents the Provost on the Educational Assessment Committee, the Committee on Academic Planning and Strategy, and other committees as needed. Prior to his appointment as Associate Provost, Professor Wingenbach served as Associate Vice President, Academic Affairs. In this role he worked with faculty to implement comprehensive systems to assess student learning, design a framework to reform faculty governance, establish a clear meaning of the undergraduate degrees, and develop academic policies. As a faculty member he chaired the Faculty Assembly, the Faculty Review Committee, the College Curriculum Committee, the Department of Government (now Political Science), the International Relations program, and various governance task forces. He also works with the Wabash Center for Inquiry as a Teagle Assessment Scholar. Professor Wingenbach has published multiple articles in political science, philosophy, and cultural studies. His 2011 book, Institutionalizing Agonistic Democracy (Ashgate) is the first full length treatment of this emerging approach to democratic theory. Professor Wingenbach’s courses range the gamut of political theory, from classical philosophy to postmodernism, the traditional canon to feminist theory.  He has received repeated recognition for excellence in his teaching, including awards at Notre Dame and the University of South Carolina, and a nomination for Professor of the Year at the University of Redlands. In 2006 he received the University of Redlands Award for Outstanding Service.
















Courses Taught  [top]


Politics and Morality         Classical Political Thought         Modern Political Theory         Feminist Political Theory


American Political Thought & Practice                     Contemporary Political Theory                 Democratic Theory


Advanced Seminar in Political Theory        Johnston Seminars         Independent Studies    How to Predict an Election



POLI 210: Politics and Morality [Syllabus]

        This course is an intensive study of selected contemporary political dilemmas from theoretical and ethical perspectives.  You will learn to analyze political controversies, become familiar with the theoretical assumptions behind the problem, and develop and vigorously defend coherent positions. You will develop your persuasive writing and debating skills, the research skills needed to write and argue well, and develop your abilities to participate in the civic life of a political community.

[Course List]






POLI 212: Classical Political Thought [Syllabus]

        Why study the political philosophy of the ancients?  After all, they lived in societies very different from ours, experienced the world in an entirely different manner, began their study with assumptions we might find strange, used stylistic approaches no longer considered properly academic, and could not possibly have discussed our most pressing current political problems.  Two reasons, at least, can be given to justify the study of ancient political theory.  The first is that the very strangeness of thinkers like Socrates (pictured), Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Sophocles can help us to better understand ourselves, our world, and our values.  If we can come to understand how it might be possible to see the world from an almost alien perspective, we might then be able to gain some purchase on and distance from our own beliefs.  The ability to achieve such critical distance is a primary goal of college education.  The second is, paradoxically, the centrality of these thinkers to the western tradition, of which we are all a part.  Though they seem odd now, these texts provide the foundation upon which our current political, philosophical, and intellectual views rest.  The Greeks invented democracy, the Romans perfected the republic, Plato is considered the founder of western philosophy as an enterprise of criticism and relentless questioning, Aristotle was the first political scientist, Augustine the first to try to reconcile natural law with Christian revelation, and so on.  It is impossible to imagine our lives, political structures, and thought as we experience them today without these thinkers' contributions.  So, we study the ancients because both their strangeness and familiarity can help us develop perspective on ourselves and our society.  Click here for a student's interesting take on Antigone.

[Course List]






POLI 214: Modern Political Theory [Syllabus]

        At its best, political theory is challenging, controversial, and unsettling.  Good political theory questions our conventional beliefs and normative expectations, asks us why we believe what we do and whether it can be justified, forces us to examine our role and responsibility within our own polity, and tries to point the way to a better society.  It addresses many of our most hotly debated cultural issues: what is good? what is evil?  what is justice?  what is freedom?  what is the role of the state?  what form of government should we have?  does truth exist?  and, most importantly, why do you think so?  In other words, political theory forces us to think carefully and critically about our own political ideas and those of others.  This class will attempt to carry on this tradition of political theory by exposing you to a variety of ideas, theories, and philosophies in a context of classroom dialogue and personal reflections.

        The ideas we will study are those of the modern period in western culture, from the beginning of the Enlightenment to the end of the 19th Century.  During this period almost all of the major concepts and theories that shape contemporary politics were developed and debated.  It was during the modern period that our ideas about democracy, power, liberty, markets, rights, rationality, and self-critique were formed.  By understanding this process, we can better understand and participate in the politics of the world in which we now live.  Pictures: Hobbes on the left, Marx on the right.  If you've taken this course, you know why that's funny.

[Course List]






POLI/WGST 317: Feminist Political Theory [Syllabus]

         What does it mean to do theory that is both feminist and political?  The title “feminist political theory” includes two modifiers of the term theory, either of which might take precedence.  If “political” were the key term, we might expect a course that looked at canonical political theory in order to determine where and how (or even if) feminist thought fit into this tradition.  This course, conversely,  takes “feminist” to be the key term.  As a result, we focus on feminist theories which address political questions as well as the process of theorizing itself.  By feminist thought I mean philosophical/theoretical approaches placing gender at the center of their analysis and then using these insights to investigate and explain political issues.  Because questions of gender are deeply intertwined with issues of identity, power, knowledge, law, and democracy, a theoretical investigation of feminist theory is inevitably political. Picture: Simone de Beauvior.

[Course List]






POLI 318: American Political Thought & Practice [Syllabus]

        A course in American political thought might pursue one of two paths: (1) a survey of distinctly American forms of political philosophy, tracing their development historically and normatively, or (2) a survey of theoretical approaches necessary to understand and analyze American politics.  More succinctly, either theory or practice.  This course engages each alternative, demonstrating that an understanding of the philosophical foundations of American politics is essential to developing a coherent analysis of American practice.   Moreover, given its pragmatist bent, American political philosophy and American theoretical analysis are often intertwined.  So we will read both primary political texts, philosophical/normative approaches, and theoretical interpretations of American politics.

           The theme of “Constitutional interpretation” links the readings selected for this course. We begin with the founding period, particularly debates about the Constitution, both within the convention and surrounding its ratification. Our investigation of these debates forms the core of the first half of the course. In the second part, we examine how evolving political practices relate to and transform the dominant interpretations of the Constitution. In the final section of the course we examine the major ideological positions in contemporary American political practice: liberalism and conservatism, and explore how these ideologies lead to varying interpretations of the Constitutional text. Pictures: James Madison and Malcolm X.

[Course List]






POLI 319: Contemporary Political Theory (Syllabus)

            This course investigates major ideas and approaches to political theory developed since 1900.  Texts and themes vary for every class, depending upon student interest.  In the semester prior to the one in which the course is scheduled, I generally plan the course themes and begin selecting readings in consultation with students intending to take the course.  In past years themes have included reason and modernity, the social construction of identity, revolutionary theory and political resistence, contemporary Marxism, globalization and empire, political ethics, liberalism, communitarianism,  libertarianism, anarchism, postmodernism, authoritarianism, feminism, gender, race, and identity.  Picture: Hannah Arendt.

[Course List]






POLI 321: Democratic Theory  [Syllabus]

            Most Americans and, increasingly, most people around the world, would agree that democracy is the only legitimate and feasible form of government.  But what exactly does “democracy” mean?  Though the etymology of the word is clear (demos means people and cracy means power; hence democracy means power to or in the hands of the people), the institutional and theoretical implications of the concept are difficult to articulate.  The purpose of this class is to examine the historical development of and contemporary debates about the meaning of democracy.  By the end of the course you should have a better understanding of the ideas, possibilities, and limitations of democratic governance, and be able to articulate and defend a precise conceptual and institutional understanding of democracy.

[Course List]






POLI 410: Advanced Seminar in Political Theory

             This course changes from year to year depending on my research interests and student input.  In the spring semester of 2008 I will teach Democratic Theory as an advanced seminar. Past topics include "Human Rights and Cultural Relativism,"  "Heidegger and Postmodernism," an Oxford style tutorial pairing students with similar interests and meeting with each set bi-weekly to discuss essays, and Contemporary Political Theory.  Picture: Heidegger, enframing the description.

[Course List]





Johnston Seminars

    I regularly facilitate seminars for the Johnston Center. Past seminars have included Heidegger, American Conservatism, and a two First year Seminars. Other topics that have come up in conversation with students include (but are not limited to): 

[Course List]





FYS: How to Predict an Election [Syllabus]

        During Presidential election years I teach a first year seminar called "How to Predict an Election." Do you think you know who will win the election for President? Can you explain why? Would you stake part of your grade on this prediction? This seminar will follow the campaign for President closely in order to understand, predict, and explain the final result. In the first part of the course, we will focus on the campaign and the factors that influence electoral outcomes. You will also research and analyze the likely result in a single swing state. In November, you will predict the outcome of the 2008 federal election and write a paper defending those predictions. In the second part of the course we will use the results of the elections as the starting point to analyze and evaluate American political institutions from a variety of theoretical, normative, and social scientific perspectives.


[Course List]





Independent Studies

            I am willing to sponsor independent studies in areas where I have some competence and/or interest.  A student wishing to engage in independent study should meet with me to discuss their idea, after they have completed some serious research into the topic.  I have sponsored at least 20 independent studies since 2000; past independent studies have included: Anarchism, Political Humor, Science-Technology-Society, Minority Representation, Revolutions (in theory and practice), Space and Politics, History and Cultural Evolution, and honors research.

[Course List]

















Publications and Research  [top]


Peer-Reviewed Publications


Institutionalizing Agonistic Democracy: Post-Foundationalism and Politics

(Ashgate Press, 2011)



Palgrave Advances in Continental Political Thought, eds. Terrell Carver & James Martin (Palgrave Press, 2006), pp. 91-105.


“Liberalism and Conservatism”

Polling America: An Encyclopedia of Public Opinion, eds. Benjamin Radcliff and Sam Best, (Greenwood Press, 2005), pp. 411-423.


Survivor, Social Choice, and the Impediments to Political Rationality: Reality TV as Social Science Experiment”

Survivor Lessons: Communications Issues Under a Watchful Eye, eds. Matthew J. Smith and Andrew F. Wood (McFarland and Company Press, 2003), 132-150.


“Preference Aggregation, Functional Pathologies, and Democracy: A Social Choice Defense of Participatory Democracy” (Ben Radcliff, co-author)*

The Journal of Politics 62 (November, 2000), pp. 977-998.

*Won the 2001 JOP Award for best article published in the Journal of Politics


“Refusing the Temptation of Innocence: Levinasian Ethics as Political Theory”

Strategies: Journal of Theory, Culture, and Politics 12 (November, 1999), pp. 219-238.


“Unjust Context: The Priority of Stability in Rawls's Contextualized Theory of Justice”

American Journal of Political Science 43 (January, 1999), pp. 213-232.


“Justice After Liberalism: Democracy and Global Citizenship”

Citizenship After Liberalism, eds. Mark Denham and Karen Slawner (NY: Peter Lang, 1998), pp. 147-166.


“Liberating Responsibility: The Levinasian Ethic of Being and Time

International Philosophical Quarterly 36 (March, 1996), pp. 29-45.


“Sexual Difference and the Possibility of Justice: Irigaray's Transformative Politics”

International Studies in Philosophy 28 (April, 1996), pp. 117-134.


Other Work in Progress


“A Theory of Agonistic Cosmopolitanism”

Post-Foundational Cosmopolitanism, ed. Tamara Caraus (proposal with readers at Routledge Press)


“Agonistic Democracy and Argumentative Reason”


BOOK: Making Democracy Meaningful: Social Choice and the Prospects for Participation (Ben Radcliff, co-author)


Selected Presentations


Scholarship of Teaching and Learning



“A Mission Based Method to Select Peer Institutions,” Western Association of Schools and Colleges Academic Resource Conference, San Diego



“Developing National Standards for Measuring Adult Student Success,” University Professional and Continuing Education Association, Webinar


“Using CIRP Surveys to Improve the Student Experience and Promote Institutional Effectiveness,” Western Association of Schools and Colleges Academic Resource Conference, Costa Mesa



“Innovations in General Education Reform and Assessment: A Faculty Development Model,” Association of American Colleges and Universities Annual Meeting, Seattle



“Student-Centered Models for Capstone Assessment,” Western Association of Schools and Colleges Annual Meeting, San Diego


“Research and Professional Development: New Issues/Challenges in the 21st Century,” Chair and Discussant, Western Political Science Association Meeting, San Diego



 “New Approaches to Cross-Institutional Assessment,” Associated New American Colleges Summer Institute, Elon University



Plenary Session: “Political Theory and Civic Education,” Association for Political Theory Meeting, Washington University



Political Theory and Philosophy



“Agonistic Democracy and Argumentative Reason,” Western Political Science Association Meeting, Hollywood



“Agonistic Democracy and the Question of Institutions,” Association for Political Theory, Texas A&M University



“Representation, Identity, and Manipulation in Agonistic Theories of Democracy,” Association for Political Theory, Wesleyan University



“Agonistic Democracy and the Perils of Populism,” Association for Political Theory, University of Western Ontario


“Agonistic Democracy and the Limits of Popular Participation,” Western Political Science Association Meeting, Las Vegas



"When is a Politics of Presence Necessary to Democratic Legitimacy?: Determining the Conditions for Descriptive Representation" (Charles Phillips, student co-author), Western Political Science Association Meeting, Portland



“Social Construction and the Possibility of Responsible Freedom” (Amy Kniss, student co-author), American Political Science Association Meeting, Philadelphia


“Restoring Responsibility: Liberalism, Postmodernism, and the Misconception of Freedom” (Amy Kniss, student co-author), Western Political Science Association Meeting, Denver



“Rights Without Foundations: A Postmetaphysical Defense of Political Rights” (Ashlie Lancaster, student co-author), American Political Science Association Meeting, Atlanta




                Council of Independent Colleges, 2008

                        Seminar: “Ancient Greece across the Curriculum: Hesiod and the Homeric Hymns”

                        Harvard University Center for Hellenic Studies


National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar, 1999

            Seminar: “Human Rights and Cultural Relativism”  

                        Columbia University

















Selected Academic Leadership Positions  [top]




      Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, 2013-present

·         Led the University to successful reaccreditation in June 2014

·         Develop and execute a comprehensive plan to internationalize the University

·         Support implementation of the newly revised faculty governance system

·         Evaluate the financial implications of new and expanded academic programs

·         Develop common academic standards for undergraduate programs across schools

·         Support and improve sponsored research performance and grant solicitation

·         Organize and support learning outcomes assessment across the institutions

·         Manage the academic program review process for all schools and units

·         Develop and oversee intellectual property and institutional review policies

·         Participate in strategic planning and the pursuit of strategic priorities

·         Coordinate initiatives to extend community-based learning across the curriculum

·         Represent the Provost on the Educational Assessment Committee, the Committee on Academic Planning and Standards, and other committees as needed

·         Oversee the Registrar, Military and Veterans’ Services, and Institutional Research

·         Collaborate with Student Life on co-curricular program improvement

·         Regularly update the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees         

·         From February to May, 2014 during the Provost’s leave:

o   Make all final decision about faculty promotion and tenure

o   Prioritize and assign new faculty position lines for 2014-2015

o   Staff the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees

o   Chair the search for the Dean of Education and oversee the transition


      Associate Vice-President, Academic Affairs, 2010-2013

·         Led campus-wide preparations for reaccreditation, including establishing 34 strategic goals to be achieved by 2015

·         Produced the University’s Institutional Report for Reaccreditation

·         Designed and implemented a comprehensive academic program review process

·         Worked with programs to develop learning outcomes for every degree

·         Guided work of the committee that produced plans to reform faculty governance

·         Established shared graduation expectations for all undergraduate degrees

·         Designed and implemented comprehensive general education assessment

·         Developed strategies to extend community-based learning across the curriculum

·         Monitored and analyzed graduation, retention, and time-to-degree data

·         Represented the VPAA on the Educational Assessment Committee, the Committee on Academic Planning and Standards, and other committees as needed

·         Supported program development and creation of academic policies

·         Worked regularly with University Relations and Alumni Affairs

·         Collaborated with Institutional Research to provide evidence for faculty and administrative initiatives

·         Led working group that identified national peer institutions

·         Provided regular reports to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees

                Coordinator of Assessment and Accreditation, 2009-2010

·         Convened and led the Assessment Working Group composed of faculty and senior leadership from Academic Affairs and Student Life

·         Established an assessment committee in faculty governance

·         Developed assessment principles endorsed by faculty governance

·         Guided the development of learning outcomes for all degree programs

·         Recruited a working group to draft Program Review Guidelines for the University


            Chair, Faculty Review Committee, 2008-2009

·         Led committee through review of 71 promotion and tenure cases

·         Evaluated sabbatical applications, allocated merit pay, and research grants proposals

·         Drafted the decision letters for all reviews

·         Presented and explained review decisions to the Board of Trustees


Chair, Government Department, 2007-2010

·         Managed $867,000+ budget, 8 full-time faculty, and 80-90 majors

·         Hired, trained, and evaluated adjunct faculty

·         Led department in significant revisions to the major

·         Reestablished links with alumni communities in Washington DC

·         Worked with University Relations to fund student internships in Washington DC


Director, International Relations Program, 2008-2010

·         Established an interdisciplinary advisory committee to oversee the program

·         Designed a completely new interdisciplinary curriculum for the major

·         Coordinated with multiple departments to ensure course availability


Chair, Faculty Assembly, 2004-2006

·         Oversaw faculty governance, including direct oversight of six faculty committees and three governance assemblies (College, Business, and Education)

·         Worked extensively with VPAA and School of Education faculty to develop and gain approval for the Ed.D. degree

·         Established the Mentoring Committee

·         Represented the faculty at Board of Trustees meetings and on the University Council

·         Managed Faculty Assembly meetings to review committee work and faculty business


Chair, Capstone Assessment Task Force, 2004-2007

·         Recruited faculty to develop and implement a pilot capstone assessment model

·         Worked with programs to clarify capstone expectations based on data collected


Chair, Liberal Arts Foundation Assessment Task Force, 2004-2007

·         Recruited faculty to develop a general education assessment model

·         Implemented pilot assessment in 2005


Primary Author, WASC Special Visit Report, 2006

·         Wrote the initial draft of the University’s report to WASC

·         Met with the site visit team to explain ongoing assessment initiatives

·         WASC’s highly positive report commended faculty-driven assessment strategies


Chair, College Curriculum Committee, 2003-2004

·         Led the committee in review of new course proposals, general education course designations,  program reviews, new position requests, and proposals for new academic programs

·         Designed and implemented reform process for the general education curriculum

·         The reform process produced a complete revision of the curriculum by 2006







Photos of philosophers copied from: http://www.trincoll.edu/depts/phil/philo/philosophers.html, except Hannah Arendt, Malcolm X, and James Madison.


last update 9/2/2014